Industries' latest climate shift
There's fresh evidence that powerful industries are slowly shifting on climate change to keep up with the times and protect their interests.
Driving the news: The Natural Gas Supply Association on Tuesday said it backs carbon pricing — a message partly aimed at states crafting emissions-cutting plans.
- CEO Dena Wiggins predicted they'll have company. "We believe we are the first national natural gas trade association to support paying a price on carbon, but we are likely not going to be the last," she told reporters.
Why it matters: It's the latest sign of powerful industries and groups starting to alter their posture.
- Exxon, Chevron, BP and subsidiaries of Equinor, Shell and Total are all members, alongside independent players like EQT Corp., and Cabot.
- A number of oil majors — including Shell, BP and others — already support pricing.
Where it stands: NGSA doesn't have plans to lobby Congress on the matter, Wiggins said.
- The group released a set of broadly worded "principles." They don't signal a preference for taxes versus emissions-trading.
- NGSA favors a national program, but says that as states move forward, they should price carbon in power markets and work together.
How it works: The group's principles for states argue that pricing should replace emissions regulations.
- That's consistent with what several oil-and-gas giants want in return for a national carbon tax plan, via their membership in the Climate Leadership Council.
- Tuesday's outline opposes "subsidies" and policies that "distort" markets — likely a reference to NGSA's ongoing fight against state subsidies for nuclear plants.
The big picture: A carbon price, depending on where it's set, could help the fuel shove coal aside even faster, though Wiggins said their position is not about members' bottom lines.